Neutronic modeling of a subcritical system with corium particles and water from international benchmark
After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the attention of the scientific community is riveted on how the consequences are being eliminated. Removing corium – a resolidified mixture of nuclear fuel with other structural elements of the reactor – remains the most difficult task, the solution of which can take several decades. It is extremely important to exclude the occurrence of any emergency processes during the removal of corium. The purpose of this work was to solve a coordinated hydrodynamic and neutron-physical problem characterized by a large number of randomly oriented and irregularly located corium particles in water as part of the development of a benchmark for this class of problems. Monte Carlo- based precision codes were used to perform a neutronic analysis. The positions of particles with corium were obtained from the results of numerical simulation. The analysis results obtained using the codes involved showed good consistency for all the states considered. It was shown that modern neutronic codes based on the Monte Carlo method successfully cope with the geometric formation and solution of the problem with a nontrivial distribution of corium particles in water. The results of the study can be used to justify the safety of corium handling procedures, including its extraction from a damaged power unit.
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